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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Department of Commerce slams door on business

I read a commentary in the Star Tribune recently about the decision of the Department of Commerce (DOC) rejecting the Public Utilities Commission's June 5-0 decision to approve the Line 3 Replacement Project.

The writer noted, “The Dayton Administration needs to change the name of its Department of Commerce to Department of Obstruction. Clearly, Minnesota is not open for business."

The writer criticized the DOC's “campaign to stop Enbridge from replacing a vintage pipeline. Keep in mind, this is after 3½ years of public meetings, process, comment periods and evaluation.”

The DOC drummed up the idea that Enbridge did not prove demand exists for the oil to be transported in Line 3, and that the PUC should not have even considered that the old pipe is showing signs of age, meaning it is at greater risk of leaking oil.

The DOC is obviously continuing its politically driven crusade to stop the project -- even though all the issues have been vetted for years.

The writer asks: “Does the Dayton Administration honestly think Enbridge would spend $2 billion on a project that wasn't needed?"

The DOC officials should make a trip or two to greater Minnesota. They would find that here in Clearwater County our roads and homesteads proudly display Minnesotans for Line 3 signs. We people here who have lived with pipelines for two or three generations know how safe they really are. We drink the water from our wells, and -- just like those who lead the protests against the line -- use gasoline to transport ourselves and buy goods that are transported using the power of petroleum. Many of us -- and the protesters who apply pressure to the Dayton camp -- wear shoes and clothing made from raw materials that include petroleum, and we walk on carpeting that is likewise made from petroleum-based products. Petroleum is more than just a fuel, it is a great driver in our national economy.

We want this project because it creates economic activity (jobs), supports our schools and county, and because buying oil from a friendly neighbor nation is much better than buying oil from our enemies to help them finance terrorism. The free flow of domestic oil also helps bring down the price of fuel.

Perhaps if the Commerce Department leaders looked at how the Line 3 project will positively improve commerce in Minnesota, we wouldn't need to change the department's name.

Terry Maddy